• 30 Jul 2009 /  Handmade Supplies No Comments

    So, I realized that the looms I made aren’t very practical for two reasons: the nails and the tension of the yarn.

    The finishing nails I used in the first looms were 1-1/2″ long and poorly manufactured. Their heads were uneven, distorted and had spiky bits.

    The yarn tension was something I hadn’t even thought about. I had reinforced the frame with L connectors, so the frame was okay. But as I wove, I realized that the nails were starting to wiggle. Not good! I had to nail them in even further, and I was starting to doubt that it was a good idea because of the previously mentioned nail head issue.

    I had seen a lot of frame looms in store windows that were made out of MDF and not lumber, so I thought I would give it a try. I went to the hardware store and found square cuts of MDF and 1-1/4″ finishing nails. The heads were flawless!

    The MDF square is 15mm (1/2″) thick and 20×20cm (8″x8″). I thought about cutting out a frame but decided against it. I marked the nails so that about 2 cm (3/4″) would be sticking out. That helped make the pegs even, not like my first looms ;) . Oh, and the wonderful surprise was that I didn’t need to pre drill the holes. MDF does not split because it’s basically pressed cardboard and the fibers go in every direction.

    The nails are placed every 1cm and there are 16 per side. I didn’t place a nail in the corners because I intended on making a potholder loom. I placed a nail on the edge of the MDF square to tie the yarn and voile, I was done! It took me about half an hour to finish the whole thing. Caveat: when you hammer the nail into the side, the MDF may open up a little, so be careful or pre drill the hole.

    I tried out the new loom, and it is great. No problem with the tension or the nails. I’ll post my first woven potholder soon.

    I’m planning on making a set of round looms with this technique and a bigger loom for larger squares. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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  • 27 May 2009 /  Handmade Supplies No Comments
    Handmade loom

    Handmade loom

    Among all of the different artisan techniques that I’ve delved into, weaving is the latest one. However, I couldn’t start weaving if we didn’t have the looms, so I went out in look of the looms I needed, only problem was that on the market I could only find small hand looms that didn’t quite make the cut. That’s when I decided to make my very first handmade looms :) .

    Problem is, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into until I started hammering in the nails!!

    My 1st HANDMADE LOOM

    First, I had to buy the sticks to make the frame for the handmade looms, and then, get down to cutting and hammering. It took me an entire afternoon to make the ones I’m posting. I haven’t finished yet, but I promise I’ll post some more info (and hopefully my first handmade woven scarf) soon, but for now I’m just going to post the finished handmade looms and one that is lacking the pegs.

    Small handmade loom

    Small handmade loom

    The smaller looms weren’t so hard to make, took me about half a morning, even though I did have a little problem after I was done.

    I used 19×19mm (1×1″) square pine molding for the handmade frame and 1-1/2″ finishing nails for the pegs. The pegs are set 1 cm apart (aprox. 3/4″). If you do this, be careful to pre-drill the holes because if you don’t it might start splitting, LIKE MINE!!

    I was worried the loom’s structure wouldn’t be strong enough, so I used metallic angles to keep the loom sturdy. The whole construction process was very rustic, but I’m eager to see what woven products I can make with them. Since they are the first looms I’ve built, it was a radical learning process. The holes for the larger loom were pre-drilled so I had no problems with the wood – live and learn :) .

    THE MOTHER OF ALL HANDMADE LOOMS!

    This is the “mother of all looms”. It took so much out of me that I was sore the next day, but it’ll be good for making hugs… I hope :) !

    It’s made with 1×3″ architecture grade lumber. It’s so big I had to ask my dad and sister to help me move it outside of the house to finish it. I knoooowww …it is huge, but we plan on making scarves with it. Haven’t quite finished it yet, but I’m starting to think I’ll need a whole afternoon just to finish hammering in the nails … geez!

    Giant Handmade Loom

    Giant Handmade Loom

    I separated the Giant into 2 so that we basically have three looms in one. The smaller section is intended for hugs.

    We haven’t actually started weaving yet, – spent all this time just building the looms- but I am so excited! I can’t wait to see how the hugs come out. Hoping to have some time soon!!!!

    I’ll post instructions soon so you can make your own loom, just keep in mind 2 things:

    1. Giant looms will take a lot out of you (may not always be worth it)
    2. Drill-drill-drill! Since you have to hammer in so many nails you may risk having the wood split (like I did) so don’t forget to drill in holes before hammering.

    If you have any questions or comments, please leave a post
    -P

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